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Development of an item bank for telehealth evaluation

Wakefield BJ, Lowery J, Kobb R, Clements E. Development of an item bank for telehealth evaluation. Paper presented at: American Telemedicine Association Annual Meeting; 2002 Oct 1; Los Angeles, CA.


Telehealth applications are increasingly being implemented as an acceptable method to deliver patient care services. Because telehealth programs can represent a significant capital and human resources investment, data are needed to document the effectiveness of these programs. There are few instruments to measure provider perceptions of the effectiveness of telehealth to deliver health care. Furthermore, a wide variety of telehealth applications are used in widely varying populations, making development of a single instrument difficult. The Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) is one of the largest providers of telehealth services in the world. The DVA has established working grouops to address unique telehealth-related issues nationwide. One group, the Outcomes and Evaluation Group, is charged with evaluation and outcomes measurement. This group has developed standardized survey questions to be included in an item bank used for evaluating program performance. Survey questions address several indicators of performance, including structure, process,and outcome; utilization, effect on access, and quality; and technical issues. The OUtcomes and Evaluation Group will complete compilation of survey items by December 2001 and post these on the DVA Telehealth web site for access by practictioners and researchers both within and outside VA.

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